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Two teams of students from Anacortes Middle School recently won 1st and 2nd place in the Seattle KidWind Challenge at the Museum of Flight, where they tested their hand-crafted functional wind turbines in a wind tunnel to calculate their energy output. They also presented their turbine design process to a panel of judges from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

The teams that competed in Seattle are the Wonderful Wind Weirdos- Ava Hightower, Kaya Fountain, and Kendal Flynn. And also the Kool Kidz- Max Adam, and Frank Peterson. Those two teams have been invited to the national competition next year in Houston, Texas. The 3rd team in the photo is Eleectrified - Emilie Cross and Aileen Kim, who won the Best Teamwork award.

A total of 17 teams from Klamath Falls to Anacortes competed in Seattle.

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Meanwhile, two other teams went this year to Nationals in Chicago. They were “Vamanos Voltage”- Zach Weaver and Sawyer Nichols, and “Fruit Goat” - Ginny Shaw, Mia Mortimer, and Shizune Haratani. They qualified at the local KidWind competition at Anacortes Middle School on March 28th.

Vamanos Voltage tied for 10th place in the middle school division, competing with 40 other teams in the division! Zach Weaver of Vamanos Voltage holds the Judges Choice Award for their turbine design (above).

Fruit Goats also performed well at Nationals. In addition to testing their wind turbine in four different Wind Tunnels, each team had to complete a knowledge test to display their understanding of wind energy concepts and two “Instant Challenges.”

These short challenges were unknown to the team before the event and required quick problem-solving and engineering skills. Fruit Goats did well on the knowledge test, but also won the Instant Challenge – Middle School Award for their performance on the Energy Futures Instant Challenge.

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Judges test student-made wind power generator at the Anacortes Middle School March 28, 2018.

The KidWind Challenge is a hands-on wind turbine design competition that aims to engage students in investigative inquiry through the lens of wind energy. The highlight of the event is the performance testing of student-designed wind turbines in powerful 4 foot tall wind tunnels.

Students are also asked to document and present their design and construction process, understand the consequences of how we generate and consume energy, and engage in a variety of challenges to gauge their on-the-spot engineering and problem-solving skills.

KidWind’s impact goes far beyond the students who attend a state challenge. More than 70 percent of the educators who attend our local trainings go on to use KidWind lessons and materials in their classrooms to expose students to wind energy concepts and technologies.

Anacortes Schools Foundation supports the KidWind program at the Anacortes Middle School.